Newspaper Page Text
TOLL TAKEN OF
HUMAN LIFE BY THE INDUSTRIES GREATER THAN DEATHS ON BATTLEFIELD Over Half a Million Men and Women Annually Arm Killed or Injured in the United States While Engaged in Productive Labor—Enormous Sum Needed to Support Those In capacitated. A Familiar Parll In Building Opara tions. New York.—More than 800,000 men and women are Injured or killed in the industries annually in the United States, or one person every minute. This industrial carnage costs the people of the country, directly and in directly, over two and a half billions of dollars —a sum larger than the national debt. Such are the death tolls of indus trial progress, which shows such a smiling face to those whose occupa tions involve no danger, but turns a ghastly countenance on those who work in peril of their lives. Whoever doubts these figures need only read the grim statistics to be convinced that modern industnr is more fateful than war. In the Japanese-Russlan war u total of 333,786 men were killed and wound ed. on both sides, not counting the losses in naval battles. In the same period in the United States alone the great army of Ameri can laborers engaged in manufactur ing and building operations suffered a loss of 435,000 killed and Injured; 92,- 000 more lives were sacrificed to in dustrial progress In one year than dur ing the greatest conflict of recent times. Statistics of the interstate com merce commission show that 84,116 people were injured and 10,040 killed on the railroads during the year end ing June 30, 1004. Sufficient data been accumulated by tbe United States government and other re sponsible authorities to show that at least 5,100 men are annually killed or injured in anthracite mining alone, and 425,000 In factory and building op erations, making the grand total ap proximately 525,000. Total Death Roll Greater. These estimates are conservative. If the exact number of accidents was known this total would be greatly in creased. In converting facts' into figures Mr. Clarence Marx, who, with other re sponsible investigators, has given sev eral years of study to the relation of crippled and unemployed persons to industry, presents a startling array. Of the 625,000 workers mentioned 15 per cent., or 445,000 to struggle per cent, only are killed, leaving 85 against their handicaps. Estimating that at least 50 per cent, or 222,000 of thes£ are able to earn $225 each an nually, which is 50 per cent, of the annual average earnings of able bodied artlsanß, we have a total of 949,950,000. This is the loss in earn ihg power. Safeiy.assumlng that these persons would create twice as much wealth as they earn we would have a loss in production of approximately |ioo,- 000,000 annually. But this Is only half the truth. If these 222,000 wage earners are not re established they must sooner or later be supported by the state. It is also evident that the other 222,000 who are ] totally disabled will also become a , burden on the taxpayers. Poor relief statistics show that It costs SIO,OOO to support a pauper dur ing bis natural life time. To be con servative again, let us estimate thla cost at 96,000, to make allowance for those who may be supported by rela tives and friends, or who may become partially self-supporting. Since under our present system the partially dls- . abled are not reestablished, the total number, minus a small percentage, must be supported at public expense. To do this cpßts approximately two and one-half billion dollars. In other words, we contract each year to meet a debt of two and a half billion dol lars within the lifetime of the persons thus injured. Figures That Stagger. These are staggering figures, but they are only a forecast of what we may expect If this wasteful destruc tion of life and limb continues. In New York state, according to the estimate of the state labor commis sioner in 1906, 44 workers in every 1,000 are incapacitated in the course of the year’s work. That means, for Instance, that at least 40,000 purely In dustrial accidents occur in New York city alone every year. The ratio of injured and uninjured is not as high in some other parts of the country, or the total number of accidents in the United States would be over 800,000 annually. In one section of New York city, the Borough of Manhattan, there were last year 2,160 deaths by violence; as tonishing as it may seem nearly one third of these deaths, or 684, were caused by falls, explosions, caving In of earth, premature blasts and falling rock. The river tunnels were con structed at the cost of 68 lives, 43 in the Pennsylvania terminal works, 20 in the Belmont tunnel, two in the sub way borings and three in the Hudson companies’ terminal. In the huge, smoky workshop called Pittsburg, one human life is sacrificed for every 60,000 tons of coal that are shipped out of the city. For each 7,600 tons of steel products one of the manipulators, somewhere in the pro cess of manufacture, lays down his life; and for each 70,000 tona of steel rails another laborer makes the last sacrifice. Of the 2,660 deaths reported in Pittsburg In 1906, 919 were due to ac cidents in mills, mines and on rail roads. The number of accidents was not computed, but it was undoubtedly in the thousands. Causes of Fatalities. How does It all happen, you ask? If a huge ladle of white hot steel is up set, the molten stream burns alive its writhing victim. It may be that a man or woman is whirled to a horrible death in mill machinery; or a miner is blown to eternity in an explosion of damp In a mine. Publicity Is given to accidents on railroads, but little Is heard of the i thousands annually killed and maimed : in manufacturing and building and in soma of tbs mors obscure trades. It has been shown that 431,000 are an nually disabled in factories aad con struction work. But we have no means of knowing bow many are in dustrially displaced by Inhaling the poisonous fumes in working over bat teries, or the large numbers that are afflicted with mercurial poisoning and other ailments in the hat Industry and allied trades. Neither do we know how many succumb to painters' colic, or blood poison by working with brass and copper. The victims of tuberculosis among sweatshop workers, grain trimmers, longshoremen, coal hands and others are shown to be numerous by the board of health reports, but the exact numbers have never been gathered into statistical form. Tributary Evils. This loss of life and limb in times of peace would be sufficiently appal ling in itself were there no tributary evils. But the situation is rendered even more serious by the fact that only about 15 per cent of the indus trial accidents result in the death of the victims, while 85 per cent., or 445,- 000, are doomed to a one-sided battle for existence. When a man loses a limb or the use of it, is rendered partially blind by an accident, or In countless ways is Incapacitated for his regular work, the first great question confronting him is to fit himself for some other form of Ons Violent Death or Injury For Every Tick of Your Watch. labor. What are his chances to regain a foothold? Some few corporations retain oh the payroll those employes who may have been injured In their service, but the number of such Is small. A few pro vide pensions, and even fewer have instituted some form of benefit that will be a real help in case of disable ment. r But the great mass of injured per sons must readjust themselves as best they can. Prejudiced Employers. The chief reason why they fall to do this and start on the long tortuous road to semi-pauperism and finally the almshouse Is the open prejudice of employers against hiring a cripple, or a failure on their part to recognise the fact that he still possesses an economic value, as he usually does. This remorseless prejudice against which many an honest and capable man has been forced to contend has driven valuable material to the waste heap of humanity, if not to a self made grave. There are many positions filled by boys and girls who should be in school which could be better filled by older men and women unable to command higher wages because of physical dis ability. To supplant the incumbents of such positions would be to raise the standards of education and of liv ing, for if the children were not avail -1 able their disabled seniors would take their places at a higher rate of wages though at less, than current standards. This would do much to remove the stigma of a present national disgrace • by whiclF 1,267,324 boys and girlß be -1 tween the ages of 14 and 16 years are 1 allowed to dwarf their young lives in : our shops, factories and mills. The ■ handicapped man would supplant chll i dren only where a distinct economic i Menace of the Industries. and educational advantage is to be gained. He is fully competent to com pete with the able bodied for many positions. It is not favoritism that he needß or asks; only an opportunity to demonstrate his fitness. The trouble is, be is rarely given that oi>portunlty. Great Need of the Day. A crying need of the day io an awakening of the national conscience regarding the needless loss of human life and the resulting economic waste. In our reckless baste to make money we forget that in ao doing, the un natural wear and tear of industry, and i the fierce struggle for existence are producing an increasing host of de pendent cltixens, who have been worn out as a part of a machine and are then thrown on the industrial scrap heap. The hours of labor are being slight ly reduced and wages slightly in creased, but the wear and tear on man and machine has been nearly doubled. Many men, each one a unit of labor, valuable to the employer and to so ciety, drop out crippled by accident or with their health undermined. Unless the employes are speedily able to re adjust themselves in gainful occupa tions, they become public charges. Each man added to the list of the state’s dependents makes an added burden of taxes on the wealth produc ing citizens. The employer, who is the exponent of the industrial system is account able for this waste of productive pow er, though not the originator of It, is himself one of the first victims to feel the extra burden of taxation. Doubt lesp he is also appealed to, and sub scribes liberally for private charitable schemes, which are themselves large ly necessary evils. Hence the waste ful system of Industry, in which the waste of labor is lost sight of in the mad attempt to save cost of produo tion, reacts on Itself; and the hard pressed employer becomes a victim to the very system that Is slowly but cer tainly adding to the cost of main tenance and production by increasing the value of labor, which he has tried to maintain, if not to cheapen. Remedy Pointed Out. Where is the remedy? If the pres ent Industrial system cannot be abol ished, It may be controlled. If the wear and tear must continue, it may proceed with less friction and waste. Legislation on this point is becoming more stringent, and employers them selves are aiding in the effort to avoid needless los? of life and limb. This problem can be solved only by sorting out the injured and readjust ing them to other forms of labor. As employers more fully appreciate the great financial loss of life and limb, as they now so carefully guard the waste of raw material and so assidu ously convert by-products into profit, the half million now annually forced into idleness and nonproductivity will be reestablished on a self-supporting basis. Centuries Paralleled. In former times vassals, serfs and slaves gave up their lives blindly to their feudal chiefs; fighting their bat tles, tilling their soil, selling their own birth rights for a pot of miserable porridge. As the fourteenth century vassal gold his service and life for food and shelter so the twentieth century ar tisan sells his labor and life for money with which to buy the necessaries of life. his wages are greater than his living expenses and he is fortunate enough to escape bodily harm, he may, under extremely favorable conditions, be able to provide for an independent old age. Rut if shifting economic con- ditions condemn him to only a pre carious living and if he is disabled by the machinery of industry, only one fate can be his—the acceptance of alms sooner or later from friends or the state. He has not shed hiß blood as the vassals of old in the service of a master. He has sacrificed himself on the altar of industrial progress, whose roasters are practically uncon cerned for his future.—From the N. Y. Journal and American THE MEEKER STABLES H. S. HARP, Proprietor All kind, of Llvary Turnout., S.ddPn Honn «nd ovorythlng connoct.d with a flrat-claaa llvary aatabllahmant. Good Feed and Good Care Given all Horses Stabling at the Meeker. - lib. -dh.'it Low Rates to Commercial Travelers on “Round the Circle" Trips. v,_ RIGS FOR THE RANGELY OIL FIELDS « —HIJMiII mj^jDEEDDI THE POPULAR bINB TO Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Cripple Creek, Leadvllle, Glen* wood Springs, Aspen, Grand Junction, Salt Lake City. Ogden, Butte, Helena, San Francisco, Los Angeles, PorU land, Tacoma. Seattle. Reaches all the Principal Towns and Mining Camps in Colorado, Utah and New flexlco. The Tourist’s Favorite Route To All Mountain Resorts The Only Line Passing Through Salt Lake City en route to the Pacific Coast Between DENVER and ThrOUOTI CRIPPLE CREEK BALT LAKE CITT ! m vWgll LEADVILLE OGDEN GLENWOOD SPRINGS PORTLAND y n. GRAND JUNCTION SAN FRANCISCO LOS ANGELES Chicago, St* Louis and San Francisco CarS ‘DINING CARS W. E, SALTMAHBH, Local AganL I THE i | Rifle, Meeker, Craig STAGE AND EXPRESS LINE Connections at Meeker for Rsngely, the new ail and asphaltnm | f Helds, and all points in Rio Blanco and Routt counties. ! General Passenger, Express and Freight Business ; : Livery Stable at Rifle For Information and Rates, address | A. REES & SON, Proprietor* MEEKER, COLORADO. SKPland mountain Rl * scenery OBSERVATION rWmWFi HrlHMi cars oo day light trains |___| Run Dally Between ' pgWVE *t.g* l - T LAKE CITY And OGDEN Panawmlc Views. Descriptive Pamphlets, etc., sent free upon JCKmU application to tt tt It t| C. H. Speers, Gen'l Pass. Ag»t., Denver, Colo. WK WANT YOUR PATRONAGE <nacoteaeeoeea« * THE SHORT LINE TO»LL«,«T.,N TEXAS, LOUISIANA, FLORIDA AND MEXIOO tkd CnkradnS Sartwn Train taming Damrw at 12.15p.rn., Cad rats Sprtnga at 2.10 p. m. and FnaMa at 2.46 p. m., earrlea thraaph aaaifcii, aiaapar and SMng aar la Tart Warth. Airlma ** *•» P-m. naxt Say, making phant aaa ifjwn ’ ■"•S"‘•rdi palala kayend. Rata. gaatat an ragnaat T. 2. FISHER, 0. P. K, DENVER, COLO.